NDNU Honors Joseph Cotchett with Community Spirit Award
Belmont, CA, April 13, 2010 — Political, business and community leaders from around California will join with Notre Dame De Namur University to honor one of the foremost trial lawyers in the United States, Joseph W. Cotchett, with the NDNU 2010 Community Spirit Award at its annual Gala on May 22.
The honorary committee for the President’s Gala honoring Mr. Cotchett includes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and actor/director Clint Eastwood. In keeping with NDNU’s commitment to promoting the values of social justice through community engagement, NDNU established the Community Spirit Award to recognize individuals who “live” these values, and who have given selflessly of their time, energy, and resources to improve the quality of life for others. The gala will be held in the Gleason Center on the NDNU Campus, 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont CA.
“Joe Cotchett has spent his life, both in and out of the courtroom, advocating for those who are less fortunate, and couldn’t fight for themselves,” said NDNU President, Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D. “Along the way he found the time and energy to work for numerous community organizations dedicated to making life better for those in need. We are honored to celebrate his life and his work.”
As expressed by The National Law Journal, Mr. Cotchett “…is considered by plaintiffs and defense attorneys alike to be one of the foremost trial lawyers in the country.” He has been named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the nation for the past 10 years. His career has involved representing the disadvantaged, extensive pro bono work, and serving as a champion for justice, most recently representing Valerie Plame, the CIA Agent and victims of the Madoff fraud.
Nationally, Mr. Cotchett is one of the few lawyers named a Fellow of both the American and International Trial Lawyer Academies. He served as a Special Forces Paratrooper, retiring as a Colonel in the JAG Corps. In recent years, he served as a member of the U.S. Army War College Board.
At the local level, Mr. Cotchett’s civic work includes both past and present membership on the Boards of the San Mateo County Heart Association; San Mateo Boys & Girls Club; Peninsula Association of Retarded Children and Adults; Bay Meadows Foundation; and Disability Rights Advocates. Mr. Cotchett and his family established the Cotchett Family Foundation to aid individuals and groups in need of assistance. Mr. Cotchett is also an accomplished author having written several books, lecturer, and speaker.
Mr. Cotchett has a B.S. in Engineering from California Polytechnic College, San Luis Obispo, and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law at the University of California. He has also received honorary Doctorate degrees from Cal Poly and Notre Dame De Namur University. In November of 2006, officials of NDNU dedicated the Joseph W. Cotchett Business Studio within the School of Business and Management. At Cal Poly, the school named the Education Building for him and at Hastings he is honored with the Cotchett Advocacy Center.